"Yard" by Brian Martin

Mary Azrael
Karen Fish
Michael S. Glaser
Barbara Hurd
Bruce A. Jacobs
Boris Kokotov
Kendra Kopelke
Stephen Matanle
Lenett Partlow-Myrick
Lia Purpura
Jane Satterfield
Pantea A. Tofangchi
Marion Winik


By Marion Winik

What have they done
with our shampoo sink, mounted so
inconveniently and lovingly beside the back door?
Ripped it out, I bet, dragged it off,
left it by the curb on Bulky Trash Day.
Sure as there are penciled markings
of former children's former heights
in my new hall closet,
our sink is gone.

Moving takes longer
than it might appear. Months
after you have watched the semi
pull out of the driveway, years
after you don't unpack the last box,
you are still in transit. Home is big,
and home slips through
the waist of the hourglass
one grain at a time.

It brings out the dog in us,
the ground-sniffer, the drainpipe-pisser,
the alert and watchful guardian.
We growl in our sleep, in sleep
we visit that other backyard
and our bones are stlll there.

Slowly the ground shifts.
The closets fill with freshly outgrown coats.
Longer shadows, shadows only we have seen,
inch across the yard.

Longtime NPR commentator and personal essayist Marion Winik (www.marionwinik.com) is the author of The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, First Comes Love, The Lunch-box Chronicles, and five other books. She has a monthly advice column in Ladies Home Journal, she reviews books for Newsday, and she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore. Her essays have appeared in Urbanite, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Real Simple, Health, and many other publications; she has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show. She lives in the Evergreen neighborhood of Baltimore with her 10-year-old daughter Jane and their beloved miniature dachshund, Beau.